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Nasus Build Guide by Lugignaf

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Lugignaf

The Jungle - Where Angels Fear to Tread

Lugignaf Last updated on November 16, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 15

Honor Guard

Defense: 15

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Major rehaul going on because of the new mastery trees and the fact that I have found a new item order. Expect this to be all changed within a few weeks. Masteries have been changed but item build and other information will take a while.

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Hello there jungle user and welcome to the under-used jungler's guide. Nasus is a very powerful, but amazingly underused, jungler. Strong ganks due to Wither, strong buff control due to Spirit fire and his auto attack reset with Siphoning Strike and the fact that he can flip around at any moment with his ult and change fights around.

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Pros and Cons of Nasus and his jungling!


+You are free to farm. No lane enemy means easy farming.
+Jungling gives dragon/baron/buff control. Use it well.
+Nasus can take down Baron/Dragon fast due to his % of max HP on his ult.
+Wards that you buy save lives! (virtually of course)


-You lose a lot of farm on Siphoning Strike if you don't constantly cover lanes. It makes up about 50% of your damage output.
-You are forced to "waste" money on wards/oracles for your team. This leaves your cash lacking unless you can get kills fast or get to cover lanes a lot.
-Expensive build means, kill or die trying usually.
-When you get your Siphoning Strike farmed up, watch out for thorn mail. It hurts way harder than you do when you Siphoning Strike them.

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These masteries are very strict when it comes to jungling Nasus.


These allow you to get in MASSIVE DAMAGE on all the jungle creeps. It does not, however, make you tanky at all. Items and your ult make up for this. It aims for more early dominance while maintaining threat level into the late game. Taking Good Hands over Perseverence because Perseverence only really effects you late game. And even then, not by very much.

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Again, runes are fairly strict for jungling Nasus. There is some leniency that will change nothing but time and about 50 HP.


Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Attack Damage

Greater Mark of Lethality

Greater Seal of Armor

These are mandatory runes. If you do not have them, you will be better off laning. The attack damage and armor penetration is to increase your life steal. Had Jebus do a bit of math and having full AD quints is better than 2 AD quints and 1 AS quint.
The armor seals are pretty much common seals for junglers. Very few junglers don't use them and they usually shouldn't be jungling in the first place.
If you notice, I did not list mandatory glyphs. That is because these are completely free choice. My top picks for Glyphs are, in order of preference:

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Summoner Spells

The only requirement for jungle Nasus is Smite. Your second spell can be anything in the list. The ones I use, in order of preference, are:

  • Flash: Great for GTFO-ing during your jungle if you absolutely have to. It also helps with grabbing kills on that guy who just flashed over the wall. It happens more than you think. Only cons to this spell is that it's on such a long cooldown and we can't afford the mastery points to lower the cooldown on it.
  • Ghost: Combining it with Wither is a great chasing/escaping move. If you take it, take the point out of Perseverence and put it into Haste instead.
  • Teleport: If you're asked to cover a lane and you're all the way on the other side, this comes in handy big time. Also, because you're Nasus, you push really, really hard.
    This amplifies your pushing power immensely because you can push one lane and then immediately teleport to another lane and push it as well. Again, if you take this, take the point out of Perseverence and put it into Spatial Accuracy instead.
Other spells I would use if I was against/with a specific champion.
Ignite: For going against Vladimir, Mundo, Tryndamere, and other strong healers.
Rally: For being with AoE champions like Amumu, Jarvan, Karthus.

Reasoning behind Rally

If you have a primarily AoE based team, you would take Rally. You wawnt people to stay in your little cluster and, throwing it down gives them one more thing to accidentally hit. It also gives a boost to all your teammates. I'm not saying picking it should be a regular thing but, take it if you have a lot of AoE skills.

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Ability Explanations

Passive: Soul Eater

While also being the name of an anime, this is by far one of the best survivability passives. Giving you 14/17/20% life steal at level 1/6/11. This damage will go off of Siphoning Strike and heal a percentage of that. If you are low after a teamfight, run into the jungle and heal off jungle mobs. (Don't just run in if you you only killed one or two of them. We don't want you dying like a dumb now.) Used in tandem with Spirit Fire, it greatly increases your survivability and damage output.

Ability 1: Siphoning Strike

This is your main skill and should be maxed second, after your ult. It's what makes Nasus, Nasus and seperates him from all other tanky/DPS. He has PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER!!! Getting a last hit with it active will increase the power of all subsequent ones by 3. It stacks infinately and the bonus damage works on turrets. It does immense damage and applies on-hit effects so Sheen and Trinity Force work really well together.

Small tips on it.: Using it to last hit anything, be it a turret, champion or minion, you still get the 3 bonus damage. It also resets your auto-attack timer. Using it right after an attack connects will make you attack immediately at a much faster speed.

Skill 2: Wither

Very interesting skill. It's a slow that gets stronger as it goes along. It used to be screwed but Tenacity and other CC reducing things but now, it gets better. Not much to say on this skill other than that. IT works like Exhaust except for the fact that it does not reduce damage. Use it in a teamfight on the carry and run straight for them. It'll usually cause them to run, screaming in terror.

Skill 3: Spirit fire

This is the main skill that allows you to jungle. Reduces armor of all enemies in it and deals a small amount of damage on cast and over the next couple of seconds. Impotant to note: It's not giving you armor pen, it is actually reducing their armor. People who rely on armor like Rammus and Malphite will be losing damage off some of their core skills. Using this at the start of a teamfight, or when everyone is clumped up, can have devastating effects. Max this third.

Ultimate: Fury of the Sands

Your 15 second wild fit of rage! Gives you a flat amount of HP based on level and hurts people in an AoE around you for a percentage of their max HP. This should not be used to start fights. This should be used, agan, when everyone is clumped around you for maximum effect. Because you are doing a percentage of max health, this is most effective for shredding tanks like Singed, Mundo or another Nasus. The cap on the damage is 240 per second, per enemy and it converts roughly 6.5% of the damage to AD. Final note. The AD bonus is not permanent. It will revert back after the duration of your ult is over.

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Skill order

The initial order for jungling should always be:

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
This will have you doing the most damage and as fast as possible.
If people are outrunning you and their armor isn't really a threat, you may get a few more levels of Wither earlier. Ult should be taken at every chance.

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Video route

It's a lot harder to explain than it is to show so... VIDEO TIME!
Here, I'm using sub-optimal runes because I didn't have the IP at the time to get the CDR glyphs. Time and health will improve with those.
The main route, in image form!

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Ganking with Nasus is a fairly simple thing. If they are over-extended by a lot, you can usually just lead a bit with Spirit Fire to scare them towards you and then use Wither when you need to chase. Otherwise, it becomes slightly more tricky. If the pushing is about half and half, with neither side going either way, you want to try to wait for them to approach a bush that you are in and Wither them. Again, lead Spirit Fire in the direction you think they're going to run to keep them on it as long as possible. Early on, you are just trying to get rid of summoner spells so your next ganks are easier to do.

Side note: When you gank mid, if you kill them or make them go back, push the tower! Do as much damage as you possibly can to it without you or your mid dying.

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After jungling

After you have finished your main route, go back. Unless you got a really strong leash, chances are you won't have the health to help in ganks. Work on warding and your razors. If you can afford them, fill a slot with 1-2 wards every time you go back to base. This will help you keep map control. Continue clearing out the camps every time they come up. Whenever you cover a lane, you want to push it as much as they will let you and farm your Q at the same time.

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This is a massively expensive build. Don't feel bad if you can't finish it.

Item Sequence

Warmog's Armor

Atma's Impaler

This is your core build and what you should be aiming for every match.If you cannot get these, your damage will fall off immensely unless you farm your Siphoning Strike a ton. Getting Sheen will scale your damage up well and it scales better with levels. If you finish the core I have set up there and at least one more defensive situational item, you may proceed to get Trinity Force

After your core, build tanky items such as Force of Nature or, if you're still toting the Heart of Gold around and need more armor, Randuin's Omen. It adds to your damage output because of the health bonus. When late game comes, you should be selling your Wriggle's Lantern for another MR item like Quicksilver Sash or Banshee's Veil. Both help you survive and Banshee's Veil will increase your damage because of the health component.

Other completely acceptable items are, in order of preference:
  • Aegis of the Legion: Good item in general on Nasus. Gives armor and MR to your team wile giving some AD to make everyone a bit stronger.
  • Phantom Dancer: Good DPS item and helps you stick to targets after Wither runs out.
  • Guardian Angel: Gives you a second shot at killing things. Free 750 HP every 5 minutes. If you are still empowered by Fury of the Sands, it will still be going while you are reviving, doing the AoE all throughout the animation.

    There's not that many substitute items really. Any increase you can get in AD as well as in survivability, is good item.

    Substitute boot choices

    You're not always going to be up against a lot of CC/magic damage. Acceptable substitutes are, again, in order of preference:
    • Ninja Tabi: You are melee and most other melee champs are going to use AD as a base stat. This will also help you against kiting which is one of your larger problems.
    • Boots of Mobility: If you see large opportunities to push or have to cover lanes excessively, these are best. Work well with your pushing because of the speed bonus it gives.
    • Ionian Boots of Lucidity: Shorter cooldown on Siphoning Strike and Spirit fir means it's easier to farm and push. Giving a bit better cooldown on your ult is always good too.

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Final thanks

Thanks to jhoijhoi for her awesome "how to make a guide" guide. A lot of the coding comes from that because I can't remember how to do it myself 90% of the time. The Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction was originally her idea back from the old guide.

Thanks to Xiaowiriamu for the awesome sig/banner than I am using to adorn my guide at the top there.

Thanks to Calibern for the suggestion on a ganking section. It had not occurred to me that people wouldn't know how to gank with Nasus.

Thanks to JebusMcazn for some math-crafting to optimize runes.

Thanks to Symphunny for the much better guide name.

Thanks to Confehdehrehtheh for exposing a few stupid typos to me. <_<
Names will be added to the list as they assist.

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9/4/2011: Guide released to the public
9/4/2011: Added in a ganking section. Suggestion credit to Calibern. Added an "after jungling" section for those who don't know what do do afterwards. Changed guide name and runeset.
9/6/2011: Fixed stupid typos.